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Frequently Asked Questions about Location Connect
From TK Media Services
Questions about:

Basic Company Information

Q: What's the name of the service and company?
A: The company is named TK Media Services and is a division of Tech/Knowledge, Inc. The on-site service is named Location Connect, the brand they are emphasizing for this market. The company's webpage is at LocationConnect.com.
Q: What's the company's focus? What services do they provide?
A: All forms of on-site communication, including Internet connectivity, networking, software troubleshooting, wired and wireless telephone services, and wiring for locations or offices. They have the talent, experience and expertise to serve the Hollywood community with all these services. This includes full support for equipment a company may already have.
Q: Is TK Media Services a new company? How long have they been in business?
A: They are part of Tech/Knowledge, a consulting firm which has been providing information technology, wireless and telephony consulting services since 1984. They launched the event and production support practice in the spring of 2000.
Q: Can they be relied on?
A: Yes. Tech/Knowledge has been providing professional telecommunications and information technology engineering and management services for public and private clients since 1984. Their staff has combined experience of over a century. Their public safety background (including many police and fire departments) emphasizes reliability and ability to respond to unusual demands.
Q: Does the company have the staff to assist nationwide?
A: Yes. They have offices in Pasadena, Sacramento, San Rafael, San Diego and New York. They are developing support in other locations, but are ready to travel. Their equipment kit is compact, so it's economical for them to fly to your location.
Q: Is Location Connect only an Internet connection?
A: Definitely not. The company provides a full line of technology services, including computer troubleshooting, networking, wiring, telephone systems, software installation and support, and wireless communication.
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Logistics and Pre-Production Information

 

Q: Where can they provide these services?
A: Anywhere. The method used varies, dependent on client requirements. Their target market is, for now, the United States, with the rest of North America to follow. European support is also available on a per-project basis.
Q: How do they provide Internet service in the middle of nowhere?
A: When no other service is available, the company uses a small (4 foot by 18 inch) satellite dish. This system can provide up to 2 megabits per second to the site (download) and up to 256 kilobits/second from the site (upload).
Q: My production stage or office already has Internet service. The stages I'm renting have Internet service. What can Location Connect do for me?
A: They can provide all the support and service to ensure that these connections are usable. This can include connecting your computers wirelessly, so your staff can move throughout the base camp or office and stay connected.
Q: Can they move digital dailies to my location, for viewing?
A: Yes. Digital dailies on location are a particular goal of Location Connect. They coordinate the entire process, from lab to screening room, to ensure a smooth delivery pathway. They can also provide the screening or presentation equipment.
Q: What about hooking up my post house and lab to the location, or to my office, so I can see rushes and tests immediately?
A: Yes. They will work with all concerned parties, above and below the line, to ensure the production team can concentrate on making a movie, not the Internet connection. This includes connecting and maintaining the client's equipment where available, providing equipment where not, and integrating everything.
Q: Do they provide service inside the studio zone?
A: Yes, although they are not limited to this area. Service not requiring travel is less expensive and faster to set up.Yes, although they are not limited to this area. Service not requiring travel is less expensive and faster to set up.
Q: How much notice do they need to provide Internet service on-site?
A: Within southern California, as little as four hours. Within the continental United States, as little as one day. They will cover other areas as needed. They prefer enough notice to engineer a comprehensive and cost-effective solution, but also understand that events and motion-picture/TV production may not be able to provide much notice.
Q: I'm using Vsoft's VideoClick, or TeleStream's ClipMail. Can Location Connect put these on the same network as the rest of my equipment?
A: Yes. They will also work with all parties, including your post-production partners, to ensure they can encode and send appropriate files.
Q: I want to ensure the important departments on my set can communicate no matter what the rest of the production is doing. Can Location Connect help?
A: Yes. As part of their service, the company manages the bandwidth on the set, ensuring that important departments get first priority. They watch for overuse and unapproved uses of the Internet, and prevent unauthorized users from accessing the connection.
Q: My production will be out of business if the Internet connection fails. How can Location Connect ensure we stay online?
A: When the Internet is this essential, TK Media Services will bring multiple, redundant connections to the set. This will often include the satellite service. Moreover, their technicians will be on-set the entire time to ensure the other equipment in use is running properly.
Q: I have a one-day commercial or music video shoot in downtown LA, but I need high-speed Internet access then. Can they really install and tear down in one day?
A: Yes, and they have. Location Connect specializes in this sort of service; their track record includes doing three events in two days. Each event involved connecting 20-50 computers they'd never seen to the Internet, supporting all the client's programs, and then tearing down afterward-all in one morning or evening.
Q: Why would a company use TK Media Services instead of, say, a computer store or their existing Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
A: The company's focus is on providing a one-stop, fully integrated solution to the client. They specialize in on-site support-other companies do not. Their staff understands the specialized needs of production and events.
Q: Do they use a single one-size-fits-all service for all clients?
A: No. They use individual solutions crafted for the client's needs. If an office, soundstage or field location already has a network connection, they will use it. The method of connection is far less important than providing the reliable service demanded by their clients, and ensuring that the client's computers work reliably.
Q: Do they only work on Macs, or PCs?
A: No. They work on the full range of computers: Macintoshes, PCs, Linux systems, BeOS, desktops, laptops. They have built and troubleshot non-linear editing systems and servers. And, with 15 years in the field, they have the experience and history to understand equipment old or new, unique or common.
Q: Can they support a gypsy production which moves from location to location?
A: Absolutely-this is where the satellite connection would make the most sense, since it can be taken down and set up in as little as half an hour. More importantly, they will plan and execute all of the support needed to make this happen.
Q: Does the satellite service use Inmarsat or generic analog satellite service?
A: No. Unlike traditional on-site satellite services, their current partner technology is designed from the ground up for TCP/IP traffic-the basis of the Internet. This technology is also appropriate for voice-over-IP and fax service. However, they are not tied to a particular technology; they choose the appropriate solution for the production. And they handle the technical details so the client doesn't have to.
Q: How does Location Connect choose whether to use satellite or other connection technologies?
A: By fitting the solution to the client's needs. If a site already has existing service (DSL, T-1, OC-3, etc.), they will use it. They work with all the major providers and telcos. When a site has no service at all, the satellite can be set up in as little as half an hour. They handle these details so the client can concentrate on working.
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Webcasting

 

Q: We want to have a publicity webcast from the set. Can Location Connect help?
A: Yes, it's suitable for (and has been used for) webcasting from the field, in addition to other uses. It was used to webcast from "Burning Man".
Q: Do they have the production-related expertise to support major webcasts?
A: Yes. Company personnel have produced TV, stage and film productions, and understand the exigencies of production.
Q: What about the technical expertise needed for webcasts?
A: Their staff also includes an engineer in webcast network architecture. They work with the webcast provider to ensure a smooth event. If the event doesn't have a webcast partner, they will administer the entire process.
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Security And Confidentiality

 

Q: Are my important files kept secure?
A: Yes. Their service includes a firewall on location to keep your files away from prying eyes. They ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your information during transmission, from end to end. This can be further extended by use of custom-strength encryption using standard encryption methods. Their staff monitors network security continuously. The company's background in secure Government communications gives them the experience needed to implement this properly.
Q: I want to ensure that communications between the location, my production office, the production accounting firm, and the payroll service, all remain confidential. Can Location Connect help?
A: Yes. They examine the entire network for vulnerabilities and enforce whatever security you require. This includes security on the Internet connection, the network, on individual computers and on the web browser.
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Other Services

 

Q: What about ADR?
A: The company is investigating how to support the demands of ADR on location. Their goal is to support remote dialogue recording anywhere in the world, with little or no notice, and with full tie-in between the control room and the remote studio, at low cost, and as little as one day's notice.
Q: Can I customize their services? If I already have Internet service, can they use it?
A: Yes. Location Connect is custom designed to fit each company's needs. Some companies may only need on-site support for their existing equipment; others need complete end-to-end network engineering. Motion picture production may require technicians on location. They are ready to support any of these situations.
Q: Does Location Connect use different connection methods for different jobs?
A: Yes. Some people need the flexibility of a satellite connection, while others need extremely fast service. Some have existing high-speed Internet service and need only to maintain existing equipment. Still others may need wired access with the satellite connection as a backup, for reliability. Location Connect provides service customized for the needs of the individual client.
Q: Does the company have the experience to provide such key services reliably?
A: Absolutely. Their mix of talents provides a unique blend of Hollywood, people and technical skills to make the most complex event successful.